Today were were back in our fancy bishop outfits as the small groups were over -- it was time to report back to the Pope and the rest of the Synod members on the deliberations in those small groups. As rapporteur it was my responsibility to offer this report, and it took up most of the morning. Each rapporteur had up to 10 minutes for his report, and there were apparently 14 reports to listen to... well, you can imagine, it got a bit wearisome after a while. I lucked out, mind you. My name was called to get ready to speak, and suddenly the schedule keeper announced that it was time for a break! So I got a chance to give my report after everyone had had a coffee, which helped enormously -- at least for me!
As the break was winding down I got a chance to meet Cardinal Tagle of Manila. I call him the "smiling Cardinal", because it is clear he likes to be happy and cheerful (like most Filipinos I know)!
My presentation after the break went very well, as did the rest. Still, we tired out pretty quickly once again -- it was a lot to take in. We managed to get them all done about half and hour before the usual end time for the morning session, so the chair decided that this would be a good occasion to give the Synod participants a chance to offer "interventi libri" (unplanned, free interventions) on what they had heard. 3 minutes maximum per person, please!
Except... no one pressed the button to request to speak.
Not a single one.
Out of 300+ people. Including 250+ bishops, among whom there are usually a few who, shall we say, are not exactly afraid of a microphone.
With that silence, the chair decided that we had had enough, and let us go early.
As I was leaving, I thought to myself in disbelief, "Not a single bishop wanted to take the floor and speak?" There could be only one explanation: I had just witnessed my first Synod miracle. :-)